Written By: Robert B. Parker

Narrated By: Joe Mantegna

Date: March 2004

Duration: 6 hours 16 minutes


When Marlene Cowley hires Spenser to see if her husband Trent is cheating on her, he encounters more than he bargained for: not only does he find a two-timing husband, but a second investigator as well, hired by the husband to look after his wife. As a result of their joint efforts, Spenser soon finds himself investigating both individual depravity and corporate corruption.

It seems the folks in the Cowleys' circle have become enamored of radio talk show host Darrin O'Mara, whose views on Courtly Love are clouding some already fuzzy minds with the notion of cross-connubial relationships. O'Mara's brand of sex therapy is unconventional at best, unlawful--and deadly--at worst. Then a murder at Kinergy, where Trent Cowley is CFO, sends Spenser in yet another direction. Apparently, the unfettered pursuit of profit has a price.

With razor sharp characterizations and finely honed prose, this is Parker at the height of his powers.


  • Anonymous

    I am all Spencer'd out. This character has become a caricature. Not a single doubt or uncertainty seems to cloud Spencer's mind. He's positive he is witty, smart, and that he is able to reduce women to a quivering pulp. Ugh. Robert B. Parker must either have written this book in his sleep or he's hoping the series will be killed by reviewers. I think I'll henceforth stick to his Jesse Stone series; at least that protagonist doesn't believe himself to be infallible.

  • Anonymous

    The storyline was good, but the narrator for this was excellent! Really good voice and inflection to keep you engaged.

  • Anonymous

    The story line was great and I enjoyed the the narrator's reader. The "he said"/"she said" was annoying and took away from the quality of the the book. At some points the narrator's dialog a little too cute. The cartoonish 'step'n' fetch it' accents of the black characters was awful and should not be done. Come on it's 2010, we have a Black president. Stop already!!

  • Jean

    I have enjoyed the Robert Parker books. This was the first audiobook I have heard from this author and his habit of "he said" or "she said" became a bit annoying. It was not so noticeable when reading the book but listening to it is different. Another reviewer stated they did not like the cartoonish "step fetch" accent of the black character Hawk. This dialog banter has carried through most of the books it appears to be a joke between the two long time friends. They can just as suddenly switch to a very sophisticated educated banter as well. It is one of the things that keep you on your toes while reading Parker books. I enjoy Pearl, the dog she adds a human touch to the characters. You will not go wrong in choosing this book to read. It is fast moving and has a twisting plot, with tongue in cheek humor.

  • Anonymous

    This book was moderately interesting. The narrator's dialog was too cute by half, and the cartoonish 'step'n' fetch it' accents of the black characters made me cringe in embarrassment even alone in my car. The story had a couple of points where I would roll my eyes in disbelief. However, I may be missing some things. I understand that this is also a TV show, and since I've never seen or heard of it, there may be a lot of plot points that required knowledge of the program. All in all, I listened to the end and it kept me entertained. It's worth renting if you don't have anything else you'd like to listen to, and you have a few hours to kill. A solid 3 stars.

  • Raven Okeefe

    the only thing better than reading a new Spenser book is hearing Joe Mantegna read it to me. he's PERFECT for it! please, sir, may i have some more? :-)

  • Nita Peacock

    Only one thing is better than Robert B. Parker, and that is Robert B. Parker read by Joe Mantegna!!!

  • Anonymous

    The narrator's voice put me to sleep. The story was just OK, but not something I'd listen to again or recommend necessarily.

  • Annise Henderson

    But i will still give him 4 stars because i love to become a part of that world filled with mystery. I think i just missed hawk. You can't have a spenser book with no hawk!!! Anyway, the book overall falls in line with the other ones. I do have to agree i do get weary of the he said i said she said, but i like Joe Mantegna.

  • Carole Giroux

    I enjoyed this story for its plot, but also because the author refrained from his typical habit of constantly saying "he said" or "she said" after every line.

  • Anonymous

    The only selection I have received in two years that I sent back after listening to the first disc. I loved the Spenser TV show, but this was awful. Whatever wit he has is lost in the relating of he said, she said, he said, etc. Is the writer afraid we will lose track of the character speaking? This one wasn't worth the postage.

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by Robert B. Parker

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